Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Dawn Butler launches new breast cancer myth-busting podcast with Metro

Which stage is the cancer vaccine at? How do you get your sex life back after a diagnosis? Does eating meat really increase your risk of cancer? 

For too many of us, getting simple answers to these and other health issues is no easy feat.

Instead, symptoms are misdiagnosed or even missed entirely, while for others, the stresses of day to day life mean appointments are missed.

Thousands of women in the UK are thought to be completely unaware they have breast cancer right now.

In a bid to reduce the startling number, MP Dawn Butler has launched the ‘Mammograms and Me’ podcast with Metro to shed light on the reality of living with breast cancer.

Over the next six weeks, with a series of special guests, she will share her own experience of a breast cancer diagnosis,  bust myths and share inspiring stories with those who haven’t just survived, but are thriving after their battle with cancer.

It comes after the Labour MP for Brent created the #FindTheMillion campaign with Metro to encourage women to sign up for mammograms.

With episode one of the podcast launching today, just ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dawn sits down with fellow breast cancer patient Dr Liz O’Riordan. The former surgeon, who worked at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, spent years treating cancer patients, but she barely took the time to check her own body.

Then in 2015 she found out she had breast cancer and it changed not only her life, but the way she treated her patients forever. 

Mum of two Liz has sadly since been diagnosed twice more with cancer and in her chat with Dawn, the pair discuss taboo subjects such as the loss of libido that comes with cancer, the friends that go ‘missing’ and the impact on mental health.

Other guests over the six coming weeks include Dr Arif, who has frequently appeared on television to promote awareness of women’s health and family planning, and says the podcast will allow people to listen to potentially-life saving information on the go.

Then there’s actress Victoria Ekanoye – best known for playing Angie in Coronation Street, who shares the ordeal she experienced after discovering a lump on her breast soon after giving birth. 

She also delves into the issues facing Britain’s African community when it comes to healthcare and cancer.

Laura Lee, of Maggie’s, Alice Davies, of Cancer Research UK, and Addie Mitchell, of Breast Cancer Now, also team up for an episode with Dawn to discuss the support available out there and how attitudes to cancer, along with screenings and treatments have changed over the years, while Isola Blair chats about why she set up her charity Beyond Cancer after her diagnosis in 2010.

And if you had any doubt over the power of awareness, Dawn’s final episode with Stephanie O’Brien will change your mind. The 64-year-old was inspired by the #FindTheMillion campaign to go along to a screening.

 When she did, she discovered she had stage 1 cancer in her right breast. She had the lump removed and had radiotherapy. Speaking to Dawn, Stephanie shares what put her off reaching out for a mammogram in the first place – and how her future looks following her diagnosis. 

Speaking ahead of the podcast launch, Dawn told Metro: ‘Two years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine mammogram. It came as such a shock, as I had no signs or symptoms. The mammogram truly saved my life.

‘So, when I learnt from Breast Cancer Now that an estimated 8,000 women were walking around with breast cancer without knowing it, and that one million women had missed their breast cancer screening due to the pandemic, I knew I had to act.

‘Mammograms & Me is part of my #FindTheMillion missing mammograms campaign – I want to help find these women and encourage them to urgently get screened.

‘This podcast is about Metro and I working together to answer some important questions, explore common misconceptions and raise awareness of breast cancer in all our communities.’

Catch up with all the Mammograms and Me podcasts, which will be out every Friday for the next six weeks, by clicking here.

A Million Missed Mammograms

After being diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine mammogram in November, Dawn Butler MP was grateful to find out it was caught early.

However, she learned that a million women missed out on their mammograms due to the pandemic, with an estimated 10,000 currently living with undetected breast cancer.

Determined to change that, Dawn has launched a campaign with to get a million women to book their missed screenings.

If you have been inspired to do so after hearing Dawn’s story, please let her know on her website, emailing us or using #FindTheMillion on social media.

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